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Health Sciences

Custom program developed for Health Science leaders

Health Sciences Leadership Series

A program designed to improve the leadership capabilities and communication skills of Health Sciences faculty members.

Visit the Faculty of Health Sciences website to register.

By Mark Kerr, Senior Communications Officer

Health Sciences faculty members spend years training for their roles as educators, researchers and scholars. In many cases, though, there aren'™t the same opportunities to develop specific skills required for their administrative and managerial duties.

The Office of Faculty Development in the Faculty of Health Sciences aims to change that by collaborating with the Human Resources Department on a new management development program. The Health Sciences Leadership Series will launch this September with the first cohort of 30 participants completing six full-day sessions throughout 2014-15.

"This program is modelled after one that myself and a number of other faculty had the opportunity to take several years ago," says Tony Sanfilippo, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education, Faculty of Health Sciences. "In retrospect, the content has proven to be highly relevant and practical. The Health Sciences Leadership Series will be invaluable to any faculty members charged with administrative responsibilities or curricular development."

Human Resources designed the program specifically for Health Sciences faculty members. The material will cover challenges, situations and conflicts they will encounter in their day-to-day work. Dr. Sanfilippo says participants will gain a deeper understanding of their leadership capabilities, expand their communication skills, enhance their project management skills, and improve their ability to build relationships both within and outside their department.

The Health Sciences Leadership Series will be invaluable to any faculty members charged with administrative responsibilities or curricular development.

Tony Sanfilippo, Associate Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences.

With the Health Sciences Leadership Series, Queen's Human Resources Department continues to expand its leadership development programming. The department has offered a similar program for non-academic managers since 2009.

"œWe are excited to partner with the Faculty of Health Sciences to extend this valuable leadership training to their faculty members," says Al Orth, Associate Vice-Principal, Human Resources. "We are hopeful that the positive outcomes of this series will result in opportunities to work with other faculties on similar programs in the future."

The series has the added benefit of meeting the accreditation criteria for two professional organizations. It is an accredited group learning activity for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The program also meets the accreditation criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

Online registration is now open with the first session slated to take place Sept. 16. More information is available on the Faculty of Health Sciences website or by contacting Shannon Hill, Learning Development Specialist, Human Resources, at ext. 74175.

Addressing past discrimination to promote diversity in the future

Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Richard Reznick, Mala Joneja (Department of Medicine), and Queen’s staff and PhD candidate Edward Thomas (Cultural Studies) will receive the Queen’s University Human Rights Initiative Award for their work on the creation of the Commission on Black Medical Students.
For their work on the creation of the Commission on Black Medical Students, Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Richard Reznick, Mala Joneja (Department of Medicine), and Queen’s staff and PhD candidate Edward Thomas (Cultural Studies) will receive the Queen’s University Human Rights Initiative Award. (University Communications)

On March 3, Faculty of Health Sciences Dean Richard Reznick, Mala Joneja (Department of Medicine), and Queen’s staff and PhD candidate Edward Thomas (Cultural Studies) will receive the Queen’s University Human Rights Initiative Award for their work on the creation of the Commission on Black Medical Students. 

The annual Human Rights and Equity Office Tri-Awards honour individuals and group accomplishments in the areas of employment equity, accessibility and human rights. Find out more information about:
Steve Cutway Accessibility Award
Employment Equity Award
Human Rights Initiative Award
The awards reception is scheduled for March 3, 1-3 pm at Rose Innovation Room, Mitchell Hall
Registration: Human Rights and Equity Office, 2019 Tri-Awards Celebration

In 1918, Queen’s School of Medicine banned black students – a ban that went enforced until 1965. Last April, as a result of Edward Thomas’ research on the subject, Dean Reznick and former Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf signed a public apology for this discriminatory policy. According to Thomas’ research, the ban was put in place to be in line with the discriminatory policies favoured at the time by the American Medical Association (AMA), the organization that ranked medical schools in North America. While the AMA had no control over the policies of Canadian medical schools, the Carnegie Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation consulted its rankings when they made decisions about whether or not to provide funding to medical schools.

Recognizing this was an area of need, Dean Reznick went on to form the Commission on Black Medical Students, made up of faculty, students, and staff from Queen’s, including Dr. Joneja and Edward Thomas, in order to address the historical injustice. The commission’s work included personal letters of apology to each of the families affected by the ban, changes made to the Undergraduate Medical Program curriculum, as well as an honorary degree presented to the family of Ethelbert Bartholomew, a student affected by the ban.

The Commission on Black Medical Students remains active under the leadership of Dr. Joneja as chair, and their work on this important initiative continues, including an upcoming symposium and an exhibition at the School of Medicine.

The Human Rights and Equity Office outlined reasons as to why this team was chosen for the award, stating that the work has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of equality and human rights at the university, positively impacted the campus community through the introduction of new curriculum, and enhanced a sense of belonging for racialized students at Queen’s.

*     *     *

Tri-Award Selection Committee

  • Ann Deir, Indigenous Recruitment and Support Coordinator, Faculty of Law
  • Andrew Ashby, Accessibility Coordinator, Human Rights and Equity Office
  • Nilani Loganathan, Human Rights Advisor, Human Rights and Equity Office
  • Teri Shearer, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion)
  • Christine Coulter, Faculty, Smith School of Business
  • Penny Zhang, Society of Graduate and Professional Students


Remembering Black medical alumni

The following was first published through the Dean’s Blog.

If you have been following my blog for the last year, you may be aware that in 2018, it was brought to light that the Queen’s School of Medicine (then Faculty of Medicine) banned Black students in 1918. And while the ban had not been enforced since 1965, it remained on the university’s books as an official policy. So in October 2018, the Queen’s University Senate formally repealed the ban on Black medical students. But I knew that we needed to do more. In April 2019, then Principal Daniel Woolf and I issued a formal apology to those who had been affected by the ban.

John Wiseman Eve
John Wiseman Eve

Ethelbert Bartholomew was one of the Black students enrolled at the time of the ban, and he had completed nearly all of the necessary work to earn his MD. But because of this policy, he had to leave the school before graduating. Unable to secure a spot at another medical school, he supported himself and his family working as a sleeping car porter for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Ethelbert’s son, Daniel Bartholomew, attended the public apology in April 2019. And while he was touched by this action, he requested the university take another symbolic step to address a historical injustice. And so, at the 2019 Spring Convocation, Queen’s presented Ethelbert D. J. Bartholomew with a posthumous MD, 101 years after he was pressured to withdraw from the Faculty of Medicine.

There were 15 Black students enrolled in the Queen’s Faculty of Medicine at the time of the ban with 14 physically present on campus. Half of these students left shortly after the ban was introduced. Despite the promise of continuing their education elsewhere, the university did not help them secure spots at other Canadian schools. Most of these students completed their medical education in the United Kingdom. The other half fought to continue their education at Queen’s, despite constant pressure from the faculty to transfer elsewhere. The last of these enrolled students graduated from Queen’s in 1922.

One of the most damaging consequences of the ban was that the Faculty of Medicine failed to acknowledge the accomplishments of those Black alumni who graduated during the early 20th century.

In honour of Black History Month, I want to share with you the names of four students; three are alumni who graduated from the Faculty of Medicine. These stories are but a small sample of the illustrious careers of Black alumni who received their MDs from Queen’s before the ban was enacted.

Dr. Courtney Clement Ligoure (Meds 1916)
Dr. Ligoure graduated from Queen’s before the ban and established his practice in Halifax, N.S. Unable to secure hospital privileges, he set up an independent surgery at his home in the city’s north end. He became the publisher of the Atlantic Advocate and used this position to advocate for the formation of the No. 2 Construction Battalion. In 1917 when the Halifax Explosion killed 2,000 and injured 9,000 people, he set off to tend the injured, using his home as a local dressing station where he successfully treated hundreds of injured persons over the next several days.

Dr. Hugh Gordon H. Cummins (Meds 1919)
Dr. Cummings rose to prominence as a co-founder of the Barbados Labour Party in partnership with Sir Grantley Adams. He became the second premier of Barbados and played an instrumental role in revoking the island’s predatory Located Labourers Act.

Dr. Curtis Theopolis Skeete (Tufts 1925) 
Dr. Skeete left Queen’s immediately after the 1918 ban. He would eventually graduate from Tufts University and establish his medical practice in Nassau County, N.Y. In the 1940s, he became the first president of a local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which played a pivotal role in confronting Long Island’s infamous regime of racial segregation. 

John Wiseman Eve (Meds 1917)
Wiseman Eve was born in Bermuda and attended the Bertley Institute, graduating with a Senior Cambridge Certificate. He joined Queen’s Faculty of Medicine in 1913, in the class of 1917. He was an excellent violinist and an enthusiastic member of his class. He was a member of the Freshman Year Executive. John died in a canoeing accident on Aug. 12, 1916, just one year before completing his MD.

There are many more stories that I have not included here, but I hope that in reading this blog, you have taken a moment to reflect on these four students who walked through our doors over 100 years ago. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And Drs. Ligoure, Cummins and Skeete did just that.


Jane Philpott named Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen's University

Accomplished physician, educator, and politician will assume the role in July 2020.

Jane Philpott
Dr. Philpott begins her term as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Director of the School of Medicine on July 1, 2020.

Queen’s University announces that the Honourable Jane Philpott will serve as the university’s next Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Director of the School of Medicine. Dr. Philpott is an accomplished family physician, educator, and global health champion, and is best known for having held several senior cabinet positions with the Government of Canada. She will be the first woman to hold this position at Queen’s University.

“Queen’s University’s Faculty of Health Sciences is among the top interdisciplinary institutions of its kind in Canada, excelling in education, research, and care,” says Dr. Philpott. “I am honoured to accept the role as Dean and look forward to serving the Queen’s community in upholding and strengthening its reputation for excellence.”

The Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences is internationally renowned for scholarship, research, social purpose, and sense of community. Dr. Philpott will lead a faculty that includes the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the School of Rehabilitation Therapy. The faculty offers programs that are among the most in-demand in Canada thanks to an exceptional student learning experience, and new and innovative education models.

Elected as the Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville in 2015, she served in a number of prominent federal cabinet roles, including as Minister of Health, Minister of Indigenous Services, President of the Treasury Board, and Minister of Digital Government. She was a key leader of prominent policies and initiatives that advanced discovery research, mental health and home care resources, medical assistance in dying, First Nations rural infrastructure, Indigenous child welfare reforms, and refugee assistance. She currently serves as Special Adviser on Health for Nishnawbe Aski Nation, an organization representing 49 First Nation communities across Treaty 5 and Treaty 9 in northern Ontario.

“Dr. Philpott is an exceptional leader who has dedicated herself to improving the lives of her patients, her fellow Canadians, and the international community,” says Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “She is a powerful addition to our Faculty of Health Sciences and our university and I know will play a pivotal role in furthering our mission of making a positive impact on society through education and research. I want to extend my congratulations to Dr. Philpott and look forward to welcoming her to Queen’s.”

Prior to entering politics, Dr. Philpott spent over 30 years in family medicine and global health. After earning a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Western Ontario, she spent the first decade of her career in Niger, West Africa, where she provided clinical care to patients and training to community health workers.

Returning to Canada in 1998, Dr. Philpott spent the next 17 years practising family medicine in Stouffville, Ontario. In 2008, she joined the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and became Chief of Family Medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital. She also founded a campaign that raised close to $5 million for people in Africa affected by HIV/AIDS, and helped to create the first family medicine training program in Ethiopia.

Dr. Philpott begins her term as Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Director of the School of Medicine on July 1, 2020. The appointment will see her also become CEO of the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO). Dr. Philpott will succeed Richard Reznick, who has served in the role since 2010.

“I want to express my deepest appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Reznick,” says Tom Harris, Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “His contributions to Queen’s University made throughout his ten years as Dean, have lifted our institution’s reputation to new heights, to the benefit of our students, our colleagues, our community, and to health sciences in Canada.”

Members of the advisory selection committee:

This appointment follows a comprehensive search process co-chaired by Provost Harris and SEAMO Board Chair George Thomson. The advisory selection committee included representation from across the administration, faculty, and student body. Membership included:

  • Denis Bourguignon, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Barbara Crow, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science
  • Sandra den Otter, Associate Vice-Principal (Research and International)
  • Anne Ellis, Professor, Department of Medicine and cross-appointment to the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
  • Dale Engen, Clinical Teachers’ Association of Queen’s President, Assistant Professor Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine
  • Marcia Finlayson, Vice-Dean (Health Sciences) and Director, Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Leslie Flynn, Vice-Dean, Education, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Tom Harris (Co-Chair), Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
  • Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation)
  • Jasmine Khan, MD/PhD Student
  • David Pichora, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Health Sciences Centre
  • Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion)
  • Steven Smith, Director of Research, Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor, Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
  • Erna Snelgrove-Clarke, Vice-Dean (Health Sciences) and Director, School of Nursing Designate
  • Lori Stewart (Secretary), Executive Director, Office of the Provost and Vice Principal (Academic)
  • Cathy Szabo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Providence Care
  • Chandrakant Tayade, Associate Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Faculty of Health Sciences
  • George Thomson (Co-Chair), Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization, Board Chair
  • Alex Troiani, Nursing Science Society Senator

The Principal and Provost extend their gratitude to all the members of the advisory committee.

Critical funding for health research

Canadian Institutes of Health Research funds $3.95 million in grants to seven Queen’s Researchers.

Seven Queen’s University researchers are contributing their knowledge in the areas of melanoma, intensive care unit survivors, postoperative pain, diabetes medication, Indigenous public health, and depression thanks to funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Did you know that the university recently launched a new central website for Queen’s research? From in-depth features to the latest information on the university’s researchers, the site is a destination showcasing the impact of Queen’s research. Discover Research@Queen’s.

Queen’s received a total of $3.95 million from the Fall 2019 CIHR Project Grant competition, a program that helps advance health-related research. With an eye on collaboration, the competition funds both individuals and groups of researchers at any career stage in all areas of health-related research.

“Congratulations to the Queen’s researchers successful in garnering funding in an increasingly competitive funding environment,” says Kent Novakowski, Acting Vice-Principal (Research). “I look forward to hearing about the progress of their research projects designed to innovate in human health research and to benefit the population.’’

The successful researchers are:

  • John Allingham (Biomedical and Molecular Science) $573,750 – Dr. Allingham’s research focuses on understanding how certain human fungal pathogens become multi-drug resistant, leading to major medical challenges in hospitals and long-term care facilities around the world. His aim is to learn how to preserve the efficacy of our existing antifungal agents, and to inform development of new therapies, by identifying drivers of drug resistance.
  • Christopher Bowie (Psychology) $673,200 – Dr. Bowie is examining how early life experiences interact with cognitive abilities, decision making, and reward processing to predict both the recurrence of depression and the degree and timing of functional recovery after the first episode of depression.
  • J. Gordon Boyd (Medicine) $562,275 - Dr. Boyd’s multi-centre study will inform on how to better manage patients when they are at their most sick in the intensive care unit, in order to improve their long-term brain function and quality of life.
  • Robert Campbell (Ophthalmology) $130,000 – The goal of Dr. Campbell’s project is to assess the newer diabetes drugs now available and the development of severe diabetic retinopathy, the most common complication of diabetes and the leading cause of blindness and vision impairment in working-age adults.
  • Janet Dancey (Canadian Cancer Trials Group) $1,303,560 – Dr. Dancey is leading the Canadian component of an international multicentre patient-centred clinical trial investigating the use of smaller surgical margins in patients with Stage 2 melanoma. Larger margins result in disfigurement, wound discomfort, and time away from work and, if positive, will change practice in Canada and around the world.
  • Jeffrey Masuda (Kinesiology and Health Studies) $612,000 – Dr. Masuda’s team has created a research partnership that will strengthen a coalition of local- to -national Indigenous organizations who are organizing tenants living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to address the colonial harms resulting from the twin housing and overdose fatality crisis in their community.

Successfully earning bridge funding was Nader Ghasemlou (Anesthesiology & Perioperative Medicine, Biomedical & Molecular Sciences, $100,000) who is working to understand why and how pain occurs during inflammation caused by postoperative wounds. His group has identified a novel inflammatory pathway regulating the pain response and are now working to develop new health care strategies to prevent or treat pain in those undergoing surgery.

For more information on these granting programs, visit the CIHR website.

Uncovering a human rights crisis in Haiti – what happens next?

Susan Bartels stands in the New Medical Building
Susan Bartels is an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Queen's, a clinician scientist with research support from SEAMO, and a practicing emergency room physician.

Since the beginning of her career as a physician, Susan Bartels has felt a pull toward social justice, and to addressing the broader issues of health care inequity around the world.

It’s no surprise, then, that her latest research into the impact of the long-standing UN peacekeeping presence in Haiti follows that same trajectory.

The study, conducted with Sabine Lee, Professor of Modern History at the University of Birmingham, and published in The Conversation, details how girls as young as 11 are being sexually abused and impregnated by UN peacekeepers and left, often in extreme poverty and disadvantage, to raise children alone and, in most cases, with no assistance from the fathers. The research has garnered significant attention around the world, and is steadily creating awareness and change around a very troubling issue.

Dr. Bartels – who is an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, a clinician scientist with research support from SEAMO, and a practicing emergency room physician – became interested in Haiti, particularly because it presented an interesting case example. While there has been a peacekeeping mission in Haiti for many years due to political instability and the 2004 coup, there has been no actual armed conflict in the country. Severe natural disasters, including the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, have made the situation even more complex.

“Because the peacekeepers have been there for nearly two decades, we knew there were likely interactions that had happened and lived experience we could document, with children born and paternity claims made,” she says.

Dr. Bartels explains that she and her team were fairly certain the sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers was happening in Haiti, but interestingly, she was surprised to learn that the story was more nuanced than she had thought.

“There was much more transactional sex happening than I expected, arising from the poverty and social situation in the country,” she says. “Overall, what troubled me the most was how normalized it was in Haitian society. For many there was an acceptance that ‘this is how it is.’”

Dr. Bartels’ research was published late last fall in the International Peacekeeping journal, and media interest was strong early on, with an article first in the Times of London, and then in the New York Times as well as other major media outlets.

“The attention was somewhat uncomfortable at first, mostly because my previous work has not been publicized to this extent,” she says. “But it has made me feel hopeful that the results of our study will make a difference and that with this exposure the information will fall on the right ears and have some impact.”

Indeed, the research seems to be falling on the right ears. Representatives from the UN have been in touch with Dr. Bartels – an unprecedented move – and her team looks forward to engaging with them. She is also in the final stages of editing a policy brief that will be shared with various UN offices. The study has also created a stir in many of the peacekeepers’ home countries. Notably, the Chilean government has already commissioned an inquiry into the issue. And locally, Dr. Bartels hopes to work with the Peace Support Training Centre in Kingston to incorporate her research into pre-deployment training programs for peacekeepers.

In the near future, she hopes to go back to Haiti to host a multi-stakeholder conference with the UN, the Haitian government, various NGOs, and women and girls with lived experience. But the current security situation in Haiti, with repeated lockdowns, has made it difficult to organize. She says she also hopes to interview peacekeepers, to provide a more balanced look at the situation.

“There is a lack of understanding of how the economic situation for women and girls in Haiti leads them to engage in transactional sex, and I believe the perception by peacekeepers is that the women and girls  are willing participants,” she says. “There is a lack of recognition around how the living situation and lack of choice compromises one’s ability to give consent.”

One of the great joys of being a researcher is to be able to ask a question and follow it through to the answers. Even more powerful is when those answers translate to changes in policy that will positively impact vulnerable or marginalized populations. As a Dean, I am proud of Dr. Bartels’ accomplishments so far, and will continue to monitor the effects of Dr. Bartels’ work on the ground in Haiti, and around the world.

This article was originally published on Dean of Health Sciences Richard Reznick's Dean's Blog.

Capturing the Art of Research

Celebrating its fifth year, the Art of Research photo contest is open for submissions until March 12.

  • "Love Under the Microscope" by Dalila Villalobos, MD, Resident (Anatomical Pathology)
    "Love Under the Microscope" by Dalila Villalobos, MD, Resident (Anatomical Pathology)
  • "Santa Fina" by Una D'Elia, Faculty (Art History and Art Conservation)
    "Santa Fina" by Una D'Elia, Faculty (Art History and Art Conservation)
  • "A New Light" by Robert Cichocki, PhD Student (Civil Engineering)
    "A New Light" by Robert Cichocki, PhD Student (Civil Engineering)
  • "Window on a Window to the Universe" by Mark Chen, Faculty (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy)
    "Window on a Window to the Universe" by Mark Chen, Faculty (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy)
  • "Platinum Surface Electrochemistry" by Derek Esau, PhD Student (Chemistry)
    "Platinum Surface Electrochemistry" by Derek Esau, PhD Student (Chemistry)
  • "Keep Cool Boy - The Jets Aloft in West Side Story" by Tim Fort, Faculty (Dan School of Drama and Music)
    "Keep Cool Boy - The Jets Aloft in West Side Story" by Tim Fort, Faculty (Dan School of Drama and Music)
  • "Nano-dendrite Collision" by Hannah Dies, MD/PhD Student (Chemical Engineering)
    "Nano-dendrite Collision" by Hannah Dies, MD/PhD Student (Chemical Engineering)
  • "Exploring Worlds at Home" by James Xie, Undergraduate Student (Engineering Chemistry)
    "Exploring Worlds at Home" by James Xie, Undergraduate Student (Engineering Chemistry)

Researchers … ready your cameras. Returning for its fifth year, the Art of Research photo contest is looking to celebrate and creatively capture the research conducted by the Queen’s community.

Did you know that the university recently launched a new central website for Queen’s research? From in-depth features to the latest information on the university’s researchers, the site is a destination showcasing the impact of Queen’s research. Discover Research@Queen’s.

Hosted by the Office of the Vice-Principal (University Relations) and open to Queen’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni, the Art of Research provides a unique and accessible method of sharing ground-breaking research happening at the university. It also represents the diversity of Queen’s research, with winners representing multiple disciplines and submissions highlighting research happening at all career stages.

The contest is an opportunity for researchers to mobilize their research and spark curiosity. Visuals can create a more compelling and accessible research narrative. By looking at research from a different perspective, it is possible to find the beauty and art in any project.

Eligibility and Prizes

Any current Queen’s faculty, staff, student, or alumni are eligible to participate. Research depicted in the submissions must have been completed at Queen’s or while the submitter was affiliated with the university. More information about contest rules can be found on the Research@Queen’s website.

In addition to promotion across institutional channels and platforms, prizes of $500 will be awarded for the top submission in each of these categories:

Category Prizes

  • Community Collaborations: Research that partners with or supports communities or groups
  • Invisible Discoveries: Research unseen by the naked eye, hiding in plain sight, or only visible by using alternative methods of perception
  • Out in the Field: Research where it occurs, is documented, or discovered
  • Art in Action Prize: Research that is aesthetically or artistically transformed or research in motion as it happens
  • Best Description: To recognize the most creative and accessible description for an image
  • People’s Choice: Determined by an online vote by members of the Queen’s community

In honour of the fifth anniversary of the Art of Research photo contest, three special prizes of $500 each will be awarded to celebrate the diversity of research happening across the university.

  • The Innovation, Knowledge Mobilization, and Entrepreneurship Prize will be awarded to the submission that best demonstrates research that encompasses a spirit of the applied practices of innovation, entrepreneurship, and knowledge mobilization. (Sponsored by Partnerships and Innovation)
  • The Graduate Studies Prize will be awarded to the image submitted by a Queen’s graduate student or post-doctoral fellow that best embodies the School of Graduate Studies’ motto “Create an Impact.” (Sponsored by the School of Graduate Studies)
  • The Health Sciences Prize will be awarded to the image that best represents the Faculty’s mission of “ask questions, seek answers, advance care, and inspire change.” (Sponsored by the Faculty of Health Sciences)

The contest closes on March 12, 2020. The submission form can be found here and winning images from previous competitions are located on the Research@Queen’s website

Improving understanding of student stress

A Queen’s post-doctoral fellow is developing a method to better evaluate the sources of stress among post-secondary students.

photo of stressed student with computer
Post-secondary students face a range of stressors in both academic and social life.

There has been a growing demand for wellness services at universities across Canada in recent years. Brooke Linden, a post-doctoral fellow with the Queen’s Health Services and Policy Research Institute, believes that a lot of work still needs to be done to better understand the factors that affect students’ mental health and wellbeing. That’s why she is developing a method for determining the most impactful stressors for students.

“If post-secondary institutions have a method of understanding the most frequent and severe stressors on their campuses, they may be able to make positive adjustments to mental health promotion and mental illness prevention programming that can improve students’ overall mental wellbeing. But first, we need to improve our understanding of how to best target those efforts,” says Dr. Linden.

Finding the stressors in student life

As part of her research, Dr. Linden has developed the Post-Secondary Student Stressors Index (PSSI) that categorizes the stressors that affect students in five areas: academics, the learning environment, the campus culture, interpersonal stressors, and personal stressors. The tool, delivered in an online survey format, invites students to evaluate stressors by both severity and frequency. This allows for the identification of “low hanging fruit,” those frequent and severe stressors upon which schools can focus.

Dr. Linden developed the PSSI while earning her PhD at Queen’s from the department of Public Health Sciences, piloting the tool on campus in Winter 2019. To determine the stressors among Queen’s students, Dr. Linden consulted with over 500 of them from across the university through focus groups, cognitive interviewing, and online surveys.

Now, as a post-doctoral research fellow at Queen’s, she is working to evaluate the PSSI at other post-secondary institutions, with the goal of partnering with at least one university in each province. Dr. Linden is interested in determining whether different patterns of stress are observed due to factors like size, location, and campus type.

image of chart mapping student stressors
Dr. Linden has charted student stressors based on frequency and severity.

Choosing Queen’s

Dr. Linden first became interested in this work while pursuing her master’s degree in sociology. Her MA thesis focused on post-secondary student mental health, but she felt like she needed to adopt a more scientific method of understanding student stress.  

When exploring doctoral programs, she learned about the work of Heather Stuart, the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Chair at Queen’s. As a result, Dr. Linden decided to make the jump from the social sciences to the health sciences, enrolling in the Mini-Master of Epidemiology program in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen’s, which she believed would offer her the intellectually dynamic environment she was seeking in a graduate program.. After defending her Mini-Master’s project, Dr. Linden was promoted to the PhD program. She completed and defended her PhD thesis three years later, in fall 2019.

“Dr. Stuart and Queen’s University have given me all the support I need to explore the issue of post-secondary student stress and mental health outcomes. I am confident that the PSSI is a well-validated tool that has the potential to make a positive impact on the current landscape of post-secondary student mental health at universities across Canada,” says Dr. Linden.

Learn more about Dr. Linden’s research by reading her open-access article on the PSSI.

Dr. Linden is not the only researcher at Queen’s investigating post-secondary student mental health. Anne Duffy, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, is currently researching the topic through a longitudinal study called U-Flourish. Read more about Dr. Duffy’s work on the Research@Queen’s website

Lessons learned from SARS

Queen’s medical experts discuss the ongoing response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus.

Visual of the outbreak on a world map captured from the John Hopkins CSSE tracking dashboard.
The John Hopkins Centre for Systems Science and Engineering has been tracking the outbreak on a live map, pictured here.

The School of Policy Studies convened a panel of leading Queen’s medical experts to discuss how lessons learned during the 2003 SARS outbreak may inform our response to a growing number of cases of a new coronavirus strain.

“Ontario learned many lessons from SARS, says David Walker, Queen’s professor of emergency and family medicine, and former Chair of the Ontario expert Panel on SARS and infectious Disease Control. “We learned to respect surveillance, to communicate clearly, and to develop best practices in protecting the public and healthcare workers.”

Dr. Walker was joined on the panel by Gerald Evans, Chair of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Queen’s professor of medicine; Samantha Buttemer, Family Physician and Resident in Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Queen’s; and Kieran Moore, professor of emergency and family medicine, and Medical Officer of Health with the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington Public Health. They shared expert insight on how officials managed the 2003 SARS outbreak, and fielded questions from members of the public in attendance about their thoughts on the new coronavirus.

“The emergence of novel coronavirus in 2020 represents a real-world test of the collaborations between basic science, virology, modern medical science, infection prevention and control, and public health policy and their combined ability to control the spread of dangerous new pathogens,” says Dr. Evans. “The sharing of information between public health and medical officials, both nationally and internationally, and the speed at which we can communicate, are light years ahead of where we were in 2003 with SARS.”

Concerns over the current outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) originating from Wuhan, China, have escalated in past weeks as the number of cases has grown, leading to comparisons to the SARS outbreak that impacted Toronto 17 years ago. Canadian health authorities confirmed three cases of the disease – two in Ontario and one in British Columbia – but maintain that the risk of contracting the virus is low. Queen’s University is actively monitoring the situation and is providing pertinent updates to staff, student, and faculty on its Environmental Health and Safety website.

The public panel discussion took place on Jan. 30, 2020 at Queen’s University’s Robert Sutherland Hall. Below you can watch a recording of the event's online broadcast.

Working to improve Canada's mental health

Heather Stuart, the Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Chair at Queen’s, has increased her focus on connecting people with resources.

Heater Stuart speaks about mental health to an audience in Mitchell Hall
Heather Stuart speaking about mental health to an audience in Mitchell Hall in 2019.

Every year on Bell Let’s Talk Day, it’s clear that the movement to end the stigma against mental illness has come a long way. It’s also a day when the Queen’s community can take pride in Heather Stuart, Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Chair, who has played a key role in this national movement.

Throughout her career, Dr. Stuart has committed herself to raising awareness about the damaging effects of stigma. While she’s still active on that front, she has also started taking on more projects that connect people with mental health resources.

“Over the past year and a half, my research has included more practical implementation than before. I’ve been working on ways to help people find the resources they need. While we still have work to do on stigma awareness, as a society we also need to think about what steps to take next,” says Dr. Stuart.

Supporting students and the military community

One of Dr. Stuart’s major projects over the past year has been a partnership with Queen’s, IBM, and the Department of National Defense. This project is creating an app to help members of the military address feel more comfortable addressing mental health concerns. When using this tool, military personnel and their families can have confidential, anonymous conversations with an AI interface. The AI will then make recommendations about next steps, including potential treatment options, such as recommending that someone consider approaching a mental health professional or their family doctor.

Dr. Stuart has also been actively working on supporting the mental health of post-secondary students. Along with Queen’s post-doctoral fellow Brooke Linden, she has been working to evaluate a tool that helps students develop resiliency. Called Surviving to Thriving, this pilot project provides students with a workbook that helps them identify mental health resources available to them. Surviving to Thriving was initiated by the Canada Life Assurance Company, which plans to spread the tool across Canadian universities.

With Bell and the Canadian Standards Association, Dr. Stuart has been part of a large team tasked with developing and evaluating voluntary standards for post-secondary student mental health. This will establish criteria that post-secondary institutions can adopt to ensure that they are meeting the wellness needs of their students. Dr. Stuart is on both the steering committee and the evaluation committee for this project.

Still challenging paradigms 

On top of her implementation work, Dr. Stuart is keeping up with her ongoing anti-stigma research. Recently, she has signed contracts to produce two books for Oxford University Press. One will be a collection that she is editing with a colleague from the University of Calgary. In this book, various contributors will reflect on the past ten years of anti-stigma work in Canada.

Her other book project is a sequel to her landmark study Paradigms Lost. Published in 2011, this book upended many common conceptions about stigma and how to fight it. Its sequel, Paradigms Lost and Paradigms Found, will explore what’s on the horizon for stigma reduction. 


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